We’ve gotten to the cusp of spring training, and today, Baseball America revealed the 2016 MLB Draft and international spending pools for each team:
This year, bonus slots are just over 4.6 percent higher than they were last year.
Unfortunately for the Cubs, this doesn’t much matter, especially if Dexter Fowler doesn’t sign somewhere soon (though we are holding out hope that he’ll come to an agreement with the Baltimore Orioles). If Fowler does sign, I think the pool for the Cubs will adjust upwards by a few hundred thousand dollars, but is still going to be pretty bad. According to BA’s account of the bonus pools, the Cubs only get $2,245,100 to spend in the Rule 4 draft, and $2,063,100 for international free agents. This is a total of $4,308,200 to acquire talent to keep the pipeline flowing.
Part of the issue is that the Cubs dropped two draft picks in signing Jason Heyward and John Lackey, which were solid signings, mind you, but did cost a bit of the future. But the Cubs don’t worry too much about that since they have a solid farm system and a window of contention that looks to remain open for a while. The Cubs have been busy blowing their budget since last July for the international guys, so the international pool doesn’t much matter anyway since they won’t be able to spend more than $300K on any player for the next two signing periods. They can probably trade their pool money to another team who needs it, then. As for the loss of top picks, I think I’ll put plenty of trust into a front office that seems to be able to find talent just about anywhere in the draft.